J. Howard helps old team

Josh Howard didn't stick it to the Mavs with a spectacular performance in the Wizards' 107-97 upset over the Nuggets. Howard helped his old team.

A loss by Denver, the West's second-place team, is good news for the Mavs. Howard played a huge role in making that happen tonight by scoring 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting in 23 minutes.

Caron Butler, whom the Mavs essentially swapped for Howard, is also having his best game since the blockbuster deal went down. Butler has a team-high 15 points on 7-of-16 shooting midway through the third.

Mavs down six.